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Public Finance Release Notes for 11/8/2016: Enhanced Site Customizations and Expenditures Search Improvements

Open Budget and Open Expenditures

Currency World Tour!

In an effort to broaden the applicability of Open Budget and Open Expenditures around the globe, we are excited to announce that Administrators can now configure the currency symbol used throughout the site. Additionally, the thousands separator and the decimal separator can be defined to either comma or decimal depending on the usage in your location.

 

Quickly Update Annotations and Related Content

Throughout the Open Budget and Open Expenditures experience, site Administrators can add additional context to their data through Annotations and Related Content. Previously this information was entered in manually, which made many annotations or pieces of related content burdensome to maintain.

Now, you can easily download and upload a CSV (comma-separated values) file containing all the information for your annotations and related content. This ensures updates, additions, and deletions can be done quickly, leaving more time to curate the important content that tells the complete story of your budget and expenditure data.

 

Further Define Your Users’ First Chart Exploration Experience

The bar charts in Open Budget and Open Expenditures are an easy way for citizens to explore financial data, and often help answer critical questions such as which department has the largest budget, or how much the department of education spends. Based on frequent requests from site Administrators, we’ve now added two additional configurations for the default view of your site’s bar charts.

First, site Administrators can now set the default sort order for charts. While the most common sort is “Descending (Total),” you can now opt for “Ascending (Total),” “A-Z,” or “Z-A” instead if that makes the most sense when viewing your data. Individual users can still change the sort order while exploring individual charts.

Second, as you page through data on a chart, sometimes it is more valuable to see data on the same axis scale for comparison, but other times it’s easier to explore when the chart automatically re-sizes to the current values. Now, site Administrators can define whether bar chart axes default to a consistent scale or auto-adjust to the values currently in the chart.

Read this Knowledge Base article for more details on how to Administer an Open Budget or Open Expenditures site.

 

Open Expenditures: Search the Checkbook from the Homepage

While browsing through expenditures charts and data can be a valuable way to explore how money is spent, sometimes you are looking for something specific and search is the best way to find it. To help make it easier to find the expenditures information you need, you can now search the full checkbook directly from the search bar on the homepage or in the header. For example, agencies can often struggle to see a unified view of their spending or to identify how much they are spending on particular line items. A police department may know their budget for ammunition, but not how much they spent on Beretta ammunition specifically. This functionality closes that gap and makes discovery far easier.

Read this Knowledge Base article for more details on how to search in Open Expenditures.

 

Small Updates & Bug Fixes

  • Open Budget and Open Expenditures
    • Unconfigured tab names no longer display the name “undefined.”
    • Goal tiles in the Related Content area now only show 1 decimal point.
    • Fixed a few issues in Internet Explorer 11 for pie charts and Related Content.
    • Tables with no data no longer show a “Loading…” message.
    • Embeds can now include a year selector.
    • Locations with (0,0) no longer lead to a blank map, and instead display “no location.”
    • Fit and finish fixes made so that dropdowns correctly align text and arrows.
    • Fixed a few accessibility issues for skip links.
    • Fixed an issue where the bars on charts were too long when the dollar ($) scale was selected.
    • Fixed an issue where the line chart axis was incorrectly being overlapped.
    • Embeds now show the amount of the bar on mouseover.
    • Administrators can now define the color of the Common Questions button.
    • The homepage chart is consistent with bar chart colors defined by Administrators in the Color Palette Configuration.

 


Check out our other Product News, and give us a shout at support@socrata.com with questions or ideas.

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